Renewable vs Nonrenewable Resources
As the name implies, renewable resources are those that can replenish themselves and are infinite in supplies. On the other hand, non-renewable, as anyone can guess are resources that are limited in supplies, and we humans are depleting them at a rate faster than they are being formed. Whether renewable or non renewable, we humans are too dependent upon resources for development. There are many who say that the amazing development that we see around in the world is all because of the use of our resources. At the same time there are those who care for the environment that say that the rapid rate of utilization of resources, a rate that is faster than the rate at which resources can replenish themselves has led to a situation, where earth and our atmosphere are facing many dangers and problems such as global warming, ozone depletion, and so on.
We are dependent upon fossil fuels like oil and petroleum for our infrastructure and developmental needs. We know that these fossil fuels are finite and limited in supplies. The rate at which we are extracting these fossil fuels, scientists say that they may not last for more than a century. Similarly, we are cutting down trees for our needs of furniture without paying any attention to dangers of deforestation. In sharp contrast is the energy we get from sun, water and wind. These are renewable resources and replenish themselves quickly.
However, what was once renewable may become non renewable at some future date. The best example of this phenomenon is fish, which in some areas has depleted to such an extent because of high rate of fishing that it has become non renewable and on the verge of extinction. There are techniques of management to prevent a renewable source from becoming non renewable. Of course, renewable resources are desirable, but we must realize that they are assets and we must use efficiently and effectively to allow for their replenishment.
If one talks about differences between renewable and non renewable resources, it is clear that non renewable resources are finite in supplies, and will run out of supplies sooner or later. It may take decades in case of some resources, while the time of depletion may be just a few years in the case of some resources. One major difference between non renewable and renewable resources is their efficiency. While, fossil fuels are great source of energy that is readily available, despite our best efforts and technological advance, we are not able to harness unlimited supplies of sun’s energy to us, and the best rate of conversion achieved so far is 18%.
We endanger our planet and our environment by using non renewable resources at a rapid rate of extraction, which is higher than their rate of replenishment. The pollution caused by extraction and use of fossil fuels is causing enormous environmental problems, and we must do something urgently to move towards renewable resources.